|Representatives from England (Katy McLean), New Zealand (Stephanie Teohaere-Fox), IRB (Susan Carty), France (Marie Alice Yahé) and Ireland (Fiona Coglan) at today's announcement in Paris. (Thanks to DfO for the picture)|
Salon Pascal on the first floor of the Palais des Congrès de Versailles in Thursday, June 30, 2011. The people who matter in international rugby are all there. Great men's rugby players from the past such as Serge Blanco, Jean-Pierre Lux, and Jean-Claude Baqué were there as a reminder of France's contribution to the men's World Cup over the past 20 years.
But this time it is women's rugby taking centre stage. After the success of the World Cup in England (partial or total TV coverage in 127 countries; popular success thanks to the enthusiasm support of English fans, and a high level of attractive play) IRB drives home the point - and wants to capitalise:
"The women's rugby is booming," argues Bernard Lapasset. This is also highlighted by Susan Carty, newly responsible for the development of women's participation in the world rugby: "There are nearly 200,000 registered players around the world and women's rugby is played in over 100 countries,"she says.
Bernard Lapasset highlights need to motivate emerging rugby countries. " China," he said, "decided to make a rugby a priority sport. But we also note that Brazil is becoming a major nation. Of course the popularity Sevens within the Olympics is important and women's rugby is getting better and better. In Iran, where the game advances, particularly in the universities shows it again." He concludes: "With the holding of the World Cup in France a major new step in this development that opens."
Next, Pierre Camou gives some tips: "We will organize the 2014 edition and thus contribute to breaking the "machismo" that exists in the game. This event should help to break the existing stereotypes and confirm the progress of women's rugby. We just passed its 10,000 registered players in France and the financial investment made by the FFR is growing. Nearly 3 million Euros on a federal budget of 80 million. It is also important to revitalize the sporting challenge and try to end the dominence of the two leading nations: England and New Zealand. "
Marie-Alice Yahe, captain of France, highlights "the double pride in wearing the colours of the national team and to play the major competition in your own country." Katy McLean, England captain, talks about the excitement experienced during the World Cup: "Playing a World Cup at home, it's huge"she concludes.
Also present Stephanie Teohaere-Fox, Black Ferns hooker, who is very complementary about the French, saying: "It's always a pleasure to play France. This will be even more in your country. I look forward, as the last World Cup final in England had a big media impact at home." Fiona Coghlan, arriving just in a rush because of a delayed plane, added that the momentum of good World Cup for Ireland was an important and her sporting goal would now be "reaching the semis in France. "
After Bernard Lapasset did report a UK study estimating that the impact of the 2010 World Cup was worth over 2 million Euros, after which Pierre Camou had the last word announcing a few specific points:
- a budget of about of 500,000 euros (equivalent to the 2010 in England),
- the use of the National Rugby Centre to facilitate and reduce the costs of hosting the qualifiers, and take advantage of training conditions on the site of French rugby.